What are the Causes of Turbidity in Water?

Turbidity in Drinking Water

Turbidity in water is caused mostly by human activities in certain industries, such as mining and agriculture that causes movement of particles and gets mixed up with water.

Those can be mud, sand and other waste materials found in the changing environment.

However, there is a certain particle that is a natural flora of water, especially seen seawater, oceans and can be found in freshwater too this particle is known as Phytoplankton.

Phytoplankton is a certain tiny plant that wanders or drifts to different bodies of water. This plankton is so small that it can only be seen using a microscope.

Phytoplankton’s varies in shape and sizes, and the most common phytoplankton is called Diatom, there are other phytoplanktons as well, and they are dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria. Also, other algae’s are present is water, if not treated, can affect our health.

Nowadays water isn’t safe to drink at all. Although water has been treated and chlorinated from the water sanitation system yet there still is the presence of turbidity in drinking water caused by particles seeping through the soil and into the system and most of the time through broken water lines, rusted water pipes can cause turbidity in drinking water and thus affects not just our health but our family as well.

How is Turbidity Measured and What is the Ideal Turbidity in Drinking Water

Since phytoplankton was last discovered in the 1950’s, the study led to certain debates as to how it affects the environment. One debate led to a conclusion that the reason for this appearance is in the response of ocean changes or warming.

According to the International Organization for Standardization or also known as ISO, the organization measures the water quality using units referred to as Formazin Nephelometric Units or FNU.

Since the discovery of phytoplankton, there had been many ways to measure the turbidity in drinking water, namely Arduino wherein it uses a microcontroller and inexpensive LED’s to measure turbidity in drinking water.

Back in the 1950’s, there is a method using a candle flame to view through water called the Jackson Candle Method and is measured using JTU or Jackson Turbidity Unit.

Turbidity in drinking water is also measured using a light beam and is called Nephelometer and uses Nephelometric Turbidity Unit as a measurement which is currently used by the ISO in measuring the standard of turbidity in drinking water.

Since the first appearance of the phytoplankton, an organization was created and name as Secchi and found a way to measure turbidity in water thus, Secchi Disk was invented.

A Secchi Disk is a black and white disk and is used in measuring large bodies of water. The Secchi Disk is then lowered into the water until it can no longer be seen; the depth known as Secchi depth is used as a measurement of the transparency of the water.

According to the World Health organization that established the turbidity of drinking water and is safe to be consumed should not exceed to 5 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit and that the potable and safe turbidity in drinking water is below 1 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit.

How is Turbidity in Drinking Water Treated

Since the appearance of phytoplankton in water in the 50’s, the non-government organizations such as the World Health Organization have been finding ways to treat the turbidity in drinking water so that it will be safe and potable to the community.

One way to treat the turbidity in drinking water is by the use of reagents. The reagents used are Gypsum, Aluminum Sulfate or Alum, Poly-aluminum Chloride, Ferric Chloride, and other reagents.

Scientist uses reagents to test and remove the turbidity in drinking water and made sure that the dosing process from reagents to water and vice versa was considered, as some reagents such as alum, alters the acidity or alkalinity of water.

One of the reagents used is Aluminum Sulfate or Alum. Used as a coagulating agent in purifying the turbidity in drinking water.

When mixed with water, Aluminum Sulfate causes debris to coagulate and clump together into large enough particles to be filtered out.

Aluminum Sulfate is mostly used in wastewater treatment systems and also used to manufacture paper. Poly-aluminum Chloride has the same use as Aluminum Sulfate.

The only difference is that Poly-aluminum Chloride has lower alkalinity compared to Aluminum Sulfate.

Poly-aluminum Chloride is also used as a coagulant to removed particles in drinking water and is mostly found in wastewater treatment systems.

This flocculation settled at the bottom of the water or is then filtered out. Ferric or Iron Chloride when dissolved in water changes the water pH and with that reaction releases heat.

The results of the reaction when mixed is a brown, corrosive solution that are contaminants which includes microorganisms that had attached itself to the suspending solids that act as a shield for the microorganisms found in water and can also protect these microorganisms from Ultra Violet sterilization of the turbidity in drinking water.

Gypsum also aids in filtering the turbidity in drinking water especially removing the contaminants such as lead and arsenic found in drinking water. In which both can greatly affect not just our mental health but our families as well.

How to Remove the Turbidity in Drinking Water at Home and Potable Enough to Drink

Since reagents can only be found in laboratories in certain industries and are not even safe to try at home, there is a product that was scientifically tested and proven to remove particles and also disease-causing microorganisms found in water.

Berkey Water Purifier not only filters particles and chemicals from the water sanitation system, going through the rusted water lines but also purifies turbidity in drinking water at the safety of your home to an ideal turbidity level that is potable and safe for the family to drink.

Now you and your family’s health is safe from these toxic chemicals and disease-causing microorganism.

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